Chevron projects drive Australian LNG export surge in 2017-18

16 July 2018

The ramp-up of Chevron's new LNG projects drove Australian LNG exports to a new high of nearly 60 million tonnes (Mt) in 2017-18. This analysis is contained in EnergyQuest's latest Monthly LNG Report for June 2018, just released.

Total Australian LNG exports surged by 9.3 Mt (18.5%) to 59.7 Mt. The biggest drivers of increased shipments were Chevron’s new projects. Shipments from Gorgon grew by 6.9 Mt to 12.7 Mt while the start-up of Wheatstone produced 2.1 Mt. Both projects have further room to grow this year, towards Gorgon’s nameplate capacity of 15.6 Mtpa and Wheatstone’s 8.9 Mtpa. 

The growth in exports was driven by increased deliveries to China of 6.5 Mt, particularly from Gladstone but also from west coast projects. China accounted for 34% of Australian LNG deliveries in 2017-18.

However, Japan was still the biggest LNG customer, accounting for 46% of deliveries. Deliveries to Japan increased by 2.1 Mt in the year.

Deliveries to Korea also increased (by 0.5 Mt) and comprised 11% of deliveries, coming from both east and west coast projects.

EnergyQuest estimates LNG export revenue was $30.8 billion in 2017-18, up 38% on the previous year due to both higher export volumes and higher prices, reflecting higher oil prices to which LNG prices are indexed.

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